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March 13, 2007


Esquire offers a guide to picking good and bad music.

Guitarist Bill Frisell talks to the San Francisco Chronicle.

"But I also realize that the feeling I have playing has nothing to do with how it's going to be perceived by the people listening to it. What might be sad for me somebody else might think of as funny. I want people to feel something, but the goal for me isn't to make them feel what I'm feeling. I just want to trigger something. Music is so huge, it's infinite. Within one song there are millions of little moments that can trigger any kind of emotion.''

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch examines the current "write it, play it, publish it, sell it, do it yourself" phenomenon.

Call it the age of taking matters into your own fingertips. As recently as a decade ago, those looking to spread the word about their creative output faced an army of gatekeepers. Publishing companies; public-relations firms; mainstream media; the music industry; television executives. Getting noticed by this crew could be quite the chore for any up-and-comer.

The Internet, as we now know, changed the rules.

And the impact of that appears to be growing exponentially, evidenced by the myriad ways that the Internet functions as an outlet for Do-It-Yourself buzz.

The Independent delves into the 30-year feud between authors Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mario Vargas Llosa.

The Popmatters staff wraps up its first two days at SXSW.

Singer-songwriter Willy Mason talks to the Guardian.

"I feel like an adult," he says, with a soft smile that acknowledges the fact that he speaks with a maturity that belies his 22 years. "I mean I'm the main provider for my family now. Most of my friends are taking over their family businesses, and I guess I'm doing the same."

Esquire profiles the music genre, nerdcore.

Cracked lists the 20 worst cover songs in pop music history.

No Love For Ned's streaming radio show features an in-studio performance from Arrah and the Ferns this week.

Of Montreal bassist Bryan Poole talks to the University of Toronto's Varsity Online.

So far, this tour has been interesting to say the least. Of Montreal's frontman Kevin Barnes has been glamming up his stage persona, donning Bowie-esque face paint and flashy costumes. In February, one particular onstage incident got online music sites spilling tons of ones and zeros. Poole explained, "Kevin got nude on stage in Las Vegas. It was our only 21-and-over show and we were in Vegas, so Kevin just decided to get naked."

Paste's band of the week is the Rising Appalachia.

Rising Appalachia stands for everything that tends to get swallowed up in a slick and shiny society. It’s the rise of a past lifestyle that is still rooted to the land. Drive up to one of the group's shows in a fancy car, and you’ll want to leave on foot. And that’s the goal. By resurrecting and reinventing their parents’ nostalgic old folk and mountain music, sisters Leah and Chloe Smith pave the way back to lost simplicities and social responsibility.

The Telegraph reviews legendary record producer Tony Visconti's book, The Autobiography: Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy.

There is enough discussion of guitar pedals and 16-track consoles to please the most retentive muso - too much, perhaps, for the average fan - but Visconti is a record producer, after all, whose job is to make his too-human charges sound godlike using any means necessary.

Pitching ideas for David Bowie's 1977 album Low, Visconti tells Bowie and the co-producer, Brian Eno, that his new piece of sonic kit, the Harmonizer, "f*cks with the fabric of time". Name another job, bar Einstein's, where you can do that.

Portland's Local Cut examines Sub Pop's new scholarship opportunity for students.

The scholarship (which offers the label’s chosen bizzarro-wiz-kid the chosen-over-mai-tai’s amount of $5750 towards the school of his or her choice) has no(!) academic requirements. You just have to send Sub Pop a short letter explaining what you are doing artistically in your community, why you need the money, and what kind of music you listen to. I’d suggest throwing at least one semi-obscure Sub Pop band on the list (The Hellacopters or Kinski should do). This could also be taken as an opportunity to slip Sub-Pop your demo tape or album art skills, as they recommend sending in samples. Who knows, you could be the next Big Chief!

iLounge has posted a two part "complete guide to earphones."

The Simon reviews the final show of the Mountain Goats' recent west coast tour.

No Mountain Goats record has moved me so thoroughly as 2002’s Tallahassee, but he’s never been less than honorable since then, and this final stop on his West Coast tour confirmed that album-for-album, the man writes several incarnations of good songs, even when he dips into performance-art theatrics to get them across. Fittingly, the show ended with “This Year,” one more Darnielle song about survival, perhaps his best. But certainly his warmest – and the sort of universal sentiment most bookish people are too maladjusted to ever conceive.

A New West Columbia Gorge reporter celebrates Jack Kerouac's birthday with a 1900 mile round-trip excursion to see the exhibit of the On the Road manuscript.

Jim and I are both 47 years old, the age at which Kerouac died. The coincidence was not lost on us, and our landmark road trip to see the King of the Beats’ massive outpouring of creative brilliance is still resonating within us both. Our journeys are far from over, though, and there is much work and creativity yet to be accomplished.

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this week's CD & DVD releases


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